Visualizing The Militarization Of The Middle East

According to Zero Hedge

The global arms trade is huge.

While it’s hard to pin down an exact value of arms transfers, VisualCapitalist’s Jeff Desjardins notes the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute estimates that the number was at least $76 billion in 2013, with the caveat that it is likely higher.

The volume of transfers have been trending upwards now for roughly 15 years.

Volume of Arms TransfersWorld Arms TradeCourtesy of: SIPRI

But where are these arms going?

The answer, as VisualCapitalist’s Jeff Desjardins explains, is that they are increasingly going to militarize the Middle East, which has increased imports of arms by 61% in 2011-2015, compared to the previous five year period.

The Syrian Civil War now entering its sixth year, and it’s clear that conflict is stopping no time soon in the Middle East. As a result of this and the various proxy wars, complicated relationships, and a continuing threat from ISIS, neighboring countries in the region have loaded up on arms.

That’s why Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the UAE have increased imports of arms by 275%, 279%, and 35% respectively compared to the 2006-2010 time period. Saudi Arabia is now the second largest importer of arms in the world.

Rounding out the Top 20 largest arms importers are other countries in the general region, such as the UAE, Turkey, Pakistan, Algeria, Egypt, India, and Iraq:

Largest arms importersCourtesy of: SIPRI

How are these arms flowing to these countries?

Here’s a diagram showing the top three suppliers to each of the biggest arm importers:Arms Flow Chart

Original graphics by: MEE and AFP


There is also the huge pending orders from Saudi Arabia for Canadian armored vehicles

Posted by The Globe and Mail

 Saudis defend human rights record over $15-billion arms deal with Canada


“The government of Saudi Arabia is speaking out for the first time about the controversy surrounding a $15-billion arms deal with Canada, saying it will not accept outside criticism of its human rights record and pointing out that Riyadh could have easily purchased the armoured combat vehicles elsewhere.

In a statement, the Saudi embassy in Ottawa decried what it called “sensationalized and politicized” coverage of the deal brokered by the Canadian government. Ottawa is the prime contractor on a deal to supply the Saudi Arabian National Guard, which is responsible for combatting internal threats, with London, Ont.-produced fighting machines that will be equipped with machine guns or anti-tank cannons.”

“Foreign Affairs Minister Stéphane Dion’s chief spokesman said the Trudeau government had no comment on the Saudi statements.

The Riyadh statement comes after The Globe and Mail has repeatedly contacted the Saudi embassy as part of its extensive coverage of the $15-billion arms deal over the past 14 months.

The arms supply contract will support 3,000 jobs in Canada for nearly 15 years – many of them in the London, Ont., area.”

“In particular, Mr. Trudeau’s top adviser, Gerald Butts, used his Twitter account to attack Stephen Harper’s Conservatives for their close ties to the Saudis, especially in the context of the $15-billion contract. “Remind me, did Harper ever disclose the terms of his arms deal with Saudi Arabia?” he wrote during the 2015 election campaign.

Mr. Butts, currently the Prime Minister’s principal secretary, at one point used his Twitter account to draw comparisons between the justice system in Saudi Arabia and under the Islamic State – and blaming the Saudis for the birth of the extremist group.

He criticized the Tories for trumpeting what they called their “principled foreign policy” while counting the Saudis among Canada’s top allies.

In March, 2015, Mr. Butts applauded the Swedish government for denouncing human rights abuses in Saudi Arabia. He posted a link to a story that included an account of how Sweden announced that it would not renew a military co-operation deal with the Saudis worth hundreds of millions of dollars.”

Read full article: HERE

Posted by Canadian Politics below

How the ‘light-armoured vehicles’ Canada is selling to Saudi Arabia compare to what Canadian Forces use

National Post Staff | January 8, 2016 | Last Updated: Jan 14 9:27 AM ET

A recent slew of executions — including of a well-known Shia cleric — have put renewed focus on Saudi Arabia’s human rights abuses, and on Canada’s plan to sell the kingdom billions worth of military vehicles.

The $15-billion agreement between a London, Ontario, firm was touted by the last government and dismissed on the campaign trail by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as essentially a bunch of “jeeps.”

The plan is going ahead full steam, despite protests and concerns about the signal it sends about Canada’s commitment to tackle human rights abuses abroad. The thing is, the light-armoured vehicles, or LAVs, heading to Saudi Arabia are much more than all-terrain vehicles. They’re actually heavily armoured vehicles that outstrip the standard Canadian military affair: this country’s G Wagon — or Light Utility Vehicle Wheeled (LUVW) — is dwarfed by the LAVs.

LAV III Kodiak

Manufacturer: General Dynamics Land Systems – GDLS – Canada  

Product type: Armoured Vehicles 

Name: Wheeled armoured personnel carrier

Number of drive wheels


Number of wheels


Main weapon caliber (mm)


Auxiliary gun calibre (mm)


Auxiliary gun calibre (mm)


Weight (kg)


Engine power output (h.p.)


Length (mm)


Width (mm)


Height (mm)


Max. road speed (km/h)


Max. road range (km)


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